Panasonic A400

For the three and more legged things
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Ali Tait
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Post by Ali Tait » Fri May 09, 2014 7:25 pm

Where they lose out is in the sense of air and space that a good valve amp can do, but otherwise I don't think there's a great deal in it.

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Paul Barker
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 7:46 pm

Ali Tait wrote:Where they lose out is in the sense of air and space that a good valve amp can do, but otherwise I don't think there's a great deal in it.
That's the difference between this and my previous sand experience. This has imaging and air and space which makes you think it's a valve amp.

But there is no way I would defend it against a PX25 amp. That is an unfair competition.
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 8:08 pm

something very interesting which has emerged is that the Tangband speakers which I made look like Marty Feldman, sound best I have every heard them.

The Lowther pm4 phase plugs dealt with the tipped HF response. It is now tolerable rather than impossible.

Bass wasn't very well connected to the midrange with my last few valve amps. It was as if there were three different speakers, one playing too much trebble, one playing reasonable but not emotive midrange and one playing lagging decoupled bass.

This amp has brought it all together to a single speaker there is no lag bloom or disconnection in the bass. I can't even tell that the speakers are in a box. The midrange is quite acceptable. It will never come close to the better midrange units, but it is acceptable.

That doesn't mean the speakers are the best I own or have owned. But they are now happy with the amplifier.

Synergy again.

The review Phil found said these amps when they came out were contending with £1,500 amps of the time. That is my impression. For these speakers the amp is their saviour.
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Post by ed » Fri May 09, 2014 8:09 pm

tis funny how these myths all seem to have been addressed in the early days of our diy forums...and here we are all over again with our black and white statements: SS this and SS that while valve this and valve that......

there is a paper, which I can't lay my hands on at the moment about synergy, which focusses on why we perceive air and space in some systems and not in others....the paper well and truly buries the theory that it's SS causing lack of air or space.

If memory serves(Iwill find the paper) the overhang which causes bass blur also applies to higher frequencies and gives or takes air from the presentation. A bit like applying very mild room delay or chorus..then there is the amount of harmonic content to work with as well. It's a perceived thing caused by lack or not, of synergy between amp and speakers.

the above is from memory and may be a bit flaky in places...but the gist of it I truly believe to be valuable.

edit: overlapping posts Paul.
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 8:11 pm

Put it this way I wouldn't waste any money on a T amp or a gainclone when these can be picked up for less than a £100. The Marantz clone one went for just over £40 the other day. I had to sit on my bidding finger. Wish I'd got it actually, could have biamped. Bet it would be worthwhile.
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Post by ed » Fri May 09, 2014 8:40 pm

from the last Owston report simon wrote
Then Ed went again with his second system. Ed was valiantly trying to demonstrate the weaknesses of the speakers and that he'd had to heavily damp them, but they sounded okay to me. He used his F2 this time.
which unfortunately wasn't what I said, or at least not what I was trying to say.....

I was trying to demonstrate the point about damping factor and what it does to speaker presentation. To wit, I demonstrated a SS amp with a damping factor of nearly zero(O/P impedance of 15ohms). Now bearing in mind that most SS amps since 1970 have a damping factor in the 100s or even 1000s it means the speakers they are connected to don't have to do any damping. Conversely our valve amps have much lower damping factors(o/p impedances that I was trying to mimic at Owston) so they need the speaker to do a bit of the damping. But, in the main, the main stream speakers are voiced for the ubiquitous SS amps.

So I demo'd a speaker with some damping to more nearly match a valve amp, or in the case of the demo, a Pass F2.

This damping thing IME is most obvious at the bass end where a mismatch can cause blurring or wooly presentation.

This damping thing is only the tip of the iceberg when talking about synergy, but I personally think it's a factor worth considering.

How many magazine reviews have been made in the past without awareness that the item under review might behave completely differently if partnered with something else.

How many playground arguments have there been based on what has been read(and believed) in magazine reviews.
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 8:46 pm

Yes hands up to all that.

I am certain all my valve amps have suffered from everything mentioned there and many speakers have unfairly taken stick for it.
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Post by ed » Fri May 09, 2014 8:53 pm

Paul Barker wrote:Shocked, it is better than the Pass amp version 4 I think it is, this thing stomps all over it.
and the amps are taking stick as well...

I'll stick my neck right out now.....there is something seriously wrong with your F4 if it can't hold it's own against an old pioneer.......or maybe it's not an F4...or maybe it's the "stomps all over" that I am reacting to. maybe?
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 8:56 pm

IT's the bass again. The pass amp doesn't control the base either. Could it just be the power? this amp is 60 watt, I don't know what the pass is, but it's not a lot is it?
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Post by ed » Fri May 09, 2014 9:05 pm

Paul Barker wrote:IT's the bass again. The pass amp doesn't control the base either. Could it just be the power? this amp is 60 watt, I don't know what the pass is, but it's not a lot is it?
if it's an F4 it has an o/p impedance of 0.2 so if you've got 8ohm speakers it gives a DF of 40....It's a good bet that the pioneer has a much larger DF...it's also a good bet the speakers don't have a damped alignment...

I would imaging the F4(if it is) gives a similar result to a valve amp with the speakers you are using.

The F4(if it is) is puny..it will give a max of 25watts, but you have to feed it 10 volts to get it.

it's a very loaded comparison whichever way you look at it.
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 9:20 pm

Yes it's a loaded comparrison. That is the only comparison I have.

When we each say what we hear it is that, what we hear. It is loaded with our context. But it is what we hear.
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 9:24 pm

This is the big change, the bass to midrange region for once on these speakers is acting like it is just in the room, not that it is occasionally brekaing out from a box, and when it does (which is seldom) it comes out shouting "hay there I am boxy bass, how ya doin"

For the last year I have been reading people's statements about T amps for bass, and I have been thinking "these guys are mental cases, t amps can't do bass."

But of course that is in my context not theirs.
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Nick
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Post by Nick » Fri May 09, 2014 9:35 pm

If its the amp I built, its an F5, 25W output.

I assume the amp in question is a integrated? The F5 is a power amp, whats doing the volume control job?
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Post by Paul Barker » Fri May 09, 2014 9:41 pm

Thanks.

I think it is the damping factor more than the power.

We could say that these speakers are in great need of good damping factor. But that doesn't discredit the amp, because it does everything else very nicely also. But if you don't want to believe that, it doesn't matter to me, I have nothing invested in this I am sharing an experience. no axe to grind. Take it or leave it.
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Post by Neal » Sat May 10, 2014 12:42 am

No one has mentioned feedback yet ;)

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